Two Hundred And Eighty Seven Days: September

Taft at PPIE
Taft speaks to the PPIE audience.


On September 2nd, President Taft had a plot of land dedicated to his name at the exposition. There, using the same spade he had used years before to break the exposition ground, he dug a whole and planted a California Redwood Tree. Taft addressed an audience later that day. Growing concerns over the war in Europe produced more frequent acknowledgements in the speeches at the Expo. In his, Taft spoke of the need to raise more money and allocate it properly to ensure that America not be caught flat-footed if and when the need to go to war arose.

The former President’s duties were not over at the Exposition. The end of August marked a great achievement for the Exposition as it was officially out of debt with its payment on September 1st. A grand display was made to signify the day. A stage was erected near the Tower of Jewels, on which a small play was conducted culminating with the lighting of a large fire in the center. President Taft stepped up holding a long toasting fork with the deed attached to the end. Proudly, he set the paper alight and showed the crowd the flickering flames before it was consumed and gone. Fireworks finished the action. For the next three months, the Expo was free to turn a profit. It was in just time, too, as the third largest turn out at the Exposition thus far occurred on September 6th-Labor Day.

Goethals Day at the PPIE
George Washington Goethals at the PPIE


George Washington Goethals, the Chief Engineer on The Panama Canal arrived for the day dedicated to him on June 7th. General Goethals planted a tree near the tree that Taft had planted just days earlier. It was from Panama. The trees would grow together, as did the Exposition and the Canal from which it owed its existence. Many speeches were given exhorting the accomplishments of Goethals.

Over one hundred and eight thousand people showed up for the sixty-fifth birthday of the State of California, the fifth most in the whole of the Exposition year. A five-mile long parade began at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, headed up Market Street to Grove Street, Civic Center and along Van Ness to the Exposition. It took three hours for the whole parade to pass a single point.

Miner’s Week broke ground on September 25th. Three days of Miner’s Week were dedicated to a life saving competition. 17 teams assembled and mining accidents-including explosions- were simulated in replica mining tubes, to test the capabilities of the competitors. Awards were given to the victors and many turned out to learn more about the business of mining. The beginning of Mining Week was shared by Machinery Day, where the public got an education on the finer points of advances in machine engineering and operation.

The 28th was “Oregon” Day. Festivities celebrated the great ship, which had prompted the building of the Panama Canal, which provided the inspiration for the Exposition. Earlier in the month, China celebrated the Day dedicated to them on the 23rd. September 18thand 19th was the Dahlia Show.


Last updated: July 15, 2015

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